CHILE – In an initiative led by the Chilean Food Safety and Quality Agency (ACHIPIA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Chile has become the first country in Latin America to implement a food control system assessment .

Facilitated by FAO, the initiative aims to enhance strategic planning and strengthen governance related to food safety.

The launch event for the “Evaluación del sistema de control de los alimentos de Chile” took place in Santiago, Chile, with key policymakers in attendance, including Santiago Rojas, Acting Undersecretary of Agriculture, and Diego Varela, Executive Secretary of ACHIPIA.

The assessment, funded by FAO and the government of Chile, highlights the government’s commitment to building an inclusive and sustainable food control system, with FAO providing crucial support.

During the week-long workshop, Rojas emphasized the importance of addressing gaps for small producers and working towards a more sustainable agrifood system.

Varela underscored the pivotal role of FAO in supporting competent authorities and emphasized the significance of measurement in control and improvement processes.

The implementation of this assessment tool in Chile is considered a crucial step in evaluating and promoting continuous improvement in the country’s food control system.

As part of the project, a team of food safety experts from FAO will collaborate closely with local Competent Authorities for food safety and relevant stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of the national food control system.

The initiative aims to develop a strategy that enhances public health and economic development in Chile. The FAO team will guide authorities through the eight-month process, culminating in the development of recommendations and a strategic framework for implementation.

The workshop, hosted at the Universidad Santo Tomás, involved training 18 focal points responsible for data collection from various competent authorities.

FAO officials, Giovanna Sartori and Jairo Romero, introduced the assessment to the wider audience on the first day, outlining its general purpose and specific objectives.

Utilizing the FAO/WHO Food Control System Assessment Tool, based on internationally recognized Codex guidance, the team is capable of assessing national food control systems comprehensively.

As FAO leads this assessment in Latin America, the outcomes are expected to establish a benchmark for the region, promoting a more robust and effective approach to food safety and quality.

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